History in the workforce

By Kat Elliott ’17

What can you do with a history degree?

Today, there’s a common misconception that “You can’t do anything with a liberal arts degree.” For students interested in becoming history majors, they face skepticism over the practicality of their choice in major, and it isn’t unusual for them to get dissuaded from pursuing a degree in history. Yet, with the right kind of mentorship and encouragement, it is possible to go into just about any occupation.

history-alumni-panelTo show the variety of careers history majors can go into, Pacific hosted the History Alumni Career Panel on October 14th, featuring history alumni in multiple professions: teaching, materials engineering, management, marketing, and law. While the jobs and graduation years were varied, all the alumni agreed that the skills learned while studying history are transferable to any career field. Or, as one alumnus said at the panel, “I realized that history isn’t very linear. As a liberal arts major, you get a lot of training in different areas.”

At Pacific in particular, the history department faculty makes it a priority to foster valuable workplace skills such as critical thinking, writing, and human values. As alumnus Kent Linthicum said, “Professors are willing to mentor you and make connections, that’s what’s so great about Pacific.” Our professors know their students personally, and strive to see them succeed in whatever they put their minds to.

Another thing all the present alumni agreed on was to, “Make sure your career is something you enjoy.” Bringing enthusiasm to the job world will go a long way, no matter the profession.


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